Research Projects

Project at a Glance

Title: Lifecycle analysis of high-global warming potential greenhouse gas destruction

Principal Investigator / Author(s): Pamela Mathis, Julia Forgie, Mark Wagner

Contractor: ICF International

Contract Number: 07-330

Research Program Area: Climate Change

Topic Areas: Greenhouse Gas Emissions


Currently, high-global warming potential (GWP) gases account for 3% of California’s total greenhouse gas emissions, but are projected to rise to nearly 8% by 2020. Such gases include ozone-depleting substances (ODS) (e.g., chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), hydrofluorochlorocarbons (HCFCs), halons)—as well as ODS substitutes, primarily hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)—which are used in a wide variety of products and equipment, including refrigeration and air-conditioning (AC) equipment, building insulation, specialized fire protection equipment, and more. Using a lifecycle approach, this study assesses various end-of-life management options for reducing GHG emissions at time of disposal. In particular, current and alternative management options for reducing GHG emissions from the following sources at end-of-life (EOL) are reviewed: (1) household refrigerators/freezers; (2) other stationary refrigeration/AC equipment; (3) 30-lb. refrigerant cylinders used in the refrigeration/AC servicing sector; (4) foam insulation contained in the walls, roofs, and floor of decommissioned buildings; and (5) fire extinguishing systems and high-GWP solvents. For each alternative management scenario reviewed, the costs of reducing GHG emissions are calculated on a per-metric ton of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO2eq.) basis.


For questions regarding this research project, including available data and progress status, contact: Heather Choi at (916) 322-3893

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